A TWO-YEAR-OLD boy - who was reported missing from Yzeure, in Allier, Auvergne - has turned out to be a construct of a fake Facebook account.
Police launched a kidnapping inquiry after a woman, who claimed to be the child’s aunt, reported that the boy had been missing for a nearly week, and said she feared he had been abducted from a supermarket car park.
Divers searched a nearby lake, fearing the child may have drowned.
But it turned out that neither the boy or his parents existed. Investigators discovered a false Facebook account created in the name of Rayane Basinio.
The page featured pictures which purported to be this man with his imaginary son, who was called Chayson, apparently taken from local newspaper La Montagne.
The page had been running for a few months, police said.
Eric Mazaud, public prosecutor in the nearby town of Cusset, said the nature of the investigation had changed, but that charges still would be made.
He said: "It was a long and complicated inquiry but we can say that the boy has never existed and nor have his father or mother.”
Mr Mazaud added: “Someone decided to create false Facebook accounts and took pictures from real accounts to feed the false accounts and make these people seem real.”
A woman has been arrested, while two other people, both minors, have also been questioned in relation to the investigation.